Those have read the 2012 novel ‘The Fault in our Stars‘ by John Green or seen its Hollywood adaptation of the same name know what tragedy awaits as they sit to go through a whirlpool of emotions yet again. But for those oblivious of the climax, you need to be prepared with a box full of tissues.
I remember when I saw Kal Ho Na Ho, the sheer intensity and macabre of its final scenes left such a big lump in my throat, I couldn’t understand what hit me. Dil Bechara is one such film that will, for reasons known, will leave an uncomfortable silence and make you reflect on the ephemeral nature of life.
Directed by Mukesh Chhabra and starring late Sushant Singh Rajput and debutante Sanjana Sanghi, Dil Bechara is a poignant love story whose narrative will leave you stranded in a House of Mirrors, where you won’t be able to mark the bridge that crosses over from reel to reality.
The movie is available on Disney+ Hotstar for everyone free of cost as a tribute to the late actor. So wait no more and catch Sushant Singh Rajput’s electrifying presence in this last act.
What is it About
Kizie Basu, who suffers from thyroid cancer, has a rock-solid support system in her parents played by Saswata Chatterjee and Swastika Mukherjee. However, Kizie strives to be normal and enjoy a regular life where she can gossip about other girls or date the most handsome boy in the college. To embrace the inevitable, she goes to random funerals to face what lies ahead for her loved ones. Her life takes a sharp turn when she meets Immanuel Rajkumar Jr. aka Manny, a Rajnikanth fan, who is helping his friend Jagdish Pandey aka JP (Sahil Vaid) make a Bhojpuri movie.
At a Cancer Support Group meeting, Kizie learns about Manny’s Osteosarcoma and JP’s Glaucoma. Kizie is initially apprehensive about Manny due to his cocky and overly buoyant nature. But the two later bond over JP’s movie and Kizie’s favourite musician Abhimanyu Veer’s incomplete song. When Kizie gets a reply from Abhimanyu Veer and his desire to meet her in Paris, she makes it her life’s purpose. The two, Kizie and Manny, along with Kizie’s mother, visit Paris but Kizie is left heartbroken after her favourite musician’s apathetic demeanour. Manny helps her overcome her fears and gives her new hope and reason to live, but their joy is shortlived.
The movie has a rich sentimental value for all fans of Sushant Singh Rajput or survivors of any illness or tragedy in general. The movie is a tribute and the last of the legacies left by the actor in a relatively short period. Sushant Singh Rajput shines in both avatars; as the cocky and lively person in the first half who pursues Kizie relentlessly as well as in the second half where the amidst a melancholic aura, Sushant’s vulnerable, pensive and sensitive emotions rise to the surface making us uncomfortable as reel and real feels the same.
For me, the actor particularly stood out in some scenes like the one where Manny is convincing Kizie’s father for Paris. The sequence beautifully captures Manny’s maladies and disappointment with life after his amputation. Or the theatre scene where we find him at his weakest, both fearful and agonised at what lies ahead. In the mock Eulogy prepared by JP, one thing stands so true – Manny’s alluring and effervescent smile. You just can’t take your eyes from that damn curve.
Sanjana Sanghi gives a measured performance and for a debutante, she will not let you down. I loved the characterisation of Kizie’s parents, who are never over the top or are found to be hamming in any scene. It allows us to see the characters as having some emotional depth. One of the other memorable aspects is the music of the film which is typical A. R. Rahman but will leave you in the mood with your lips singing the un-finished tunes of ‘Main Tumhaara’ in a loop long after you are done watching it.
What could have been better?
If not for the emotional value and Sushant Singh’s innate charm, the story lacked depth and for the most part, was superficial. Romance was the heart of the movie and despite good acting, the lead pair lacked chemistry and the narrative seemed rushed. The other important characters like Manny’s parents or granny were not even fleshed well and some crucial ones like JP and Kizie’s parents were not given their due screen presence.
In one of the scenes, Kizie talks about the trauma her friends and family will face in future. But nowhere in the movie, do we meet even one acquaintance Kizie has. Even the Paris sequence or the guest appearance by Saif Ali Khan had so much potential concerning cinematography and a reflection on philosophical questions of life, love and death respectively. But nothing was carefully dwelt on and the result was a haphazard adaptation of one of the most celebrated Romantic Novels in recent years.
Keeping the cinematic flaws aside, this film is not just a film. It is an experience meant to be lived. It cannot be viewed from the lens of an objective cinephile. It stirs a lot of real emotions; emotions about a person’s temporary life, emotions about a rising star’s abrupt silence; emotions of such a multifaceted and talented young man whose suicide still haunts us.
Life has played a cruel joke in the sense that in most movies it was Sushant talking about the beauty or value of life and giving hope to the others. His demise weeks back is just a reminder of how far is fiction from reality. Let us not take anyone or anything for granted as we keep believing in the words of Sushant which flash on the screen at the beginning of the movie –
“Perhaps, the difference between what is miserable, and that, which is spectacular, lies in the leap of faith… – Sushant Singh Rajput.